November 2014

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Profile of the Day: Jon Stewart

Posted November 28, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Jon Stewart! Today the comedian turns 52. He was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz in New York City, New York to a well-educated middle class, Jewish family. Did you know his grandfather, Nathan Laskin, immigrated to the U.S. from Tianjin, China, which is home to a thriving Jewish community? He worked in the family’s fur business and performed stand-up comedy for other merchants who did business in the city. Comedy must run in the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Charles Schulz

Posted November 26, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember cartoonist Charles M. Schulz who was born November 26, 1922 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was the only child of Carl Schulz, born in Germany, and Dena Halverson, who was of Norwegian descent. Best known for the beloved comic strip Peanuts, Schulz is widely regarded as one of the most influential cartoonist of all time. As a child, Schulz loved to draw and sometimes drew his family dog, Spike, who ate lots of… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

Thanksgiving: Tips for the Holiday

Posted November 25, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Happy Thanksgiving feature

This Thursday, everyone across the United States will be celebrating Thanksgiving. One of the busiest holidays for travel, people from all over return home to celebrate the holiday with their loved ones. While feasting on your Thanksgiving meal this year, take this opportunity to involve your relatives in your family history research. And perhaps create even more lasting family memories! Here are some tips for working family history into your celebrations this year: Before the big day, ask… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Ricardo Montalbán

Posted November 25, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember watching Fantasy Island? On this day in 1920, star Ricardo Montalbán was born in Mexico City, Mexico. He was born Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino to Spanish immigrants Ricarda Merino and Jenaro Montalbán. With a career spanning seven decades, Montalbán tackled a wide variety of roles on both the big and small screen. In addition to his memorable role as Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island, Montalbán also played the iconic Star Trek… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Zachary Taylor

Posted November 24, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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On November 24, 1784, Zachary Taylor, the 12th President of the United States, was born in Barboursville, Virginia. He was born to a prominent family of planters. Before his presidency, Taylor was a career officer in the United States Army and a national hero for his victories during the Mexican-American War. In 1848, he narrowly won the presidential election. As tension over slavery was beginning to build and Taylor fell on the side against slavery. His top priority as president… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Goldie Hawn

Posted November 21, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Goldie Hawn! Today the actress turns 69. She was born Goldie Jeanne Hawn on November 21, 1945 in Washington D.C. to Laura Steinhoff, a jewelry shop/dance school owner, and Edward Rutledge Hawn, a band musician. Goldie got her big break as a regular cast member on the sketch comedy show Laugh-In. Her Laugh-In persona let her easily segue into several popular film appearances, including Cactus Flower, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She would… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

The Great Stork Derby

Posted November 20, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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From time to time, family history researchers may find an odd request in an ancestors will. These can range from requests for large sums of money to be given to the deceased’s pet to a unique request of being buried in a glass box. Charles Vance Millar was a successful Canadian lawyer and financier, who loved jokes and pranks which played on people’s greed. On October 31, 1926, Millar died a bachelor at the age… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Robert F. Kennedy

Posted November 20, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Robert_Kennedy_(1962)

Today we remember Robert F. Kennedy on what would have been his 89th birthday. Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, Robert was the seventh child of Joseph Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald. After successfully managing his older brother’s presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy appointed him Attorney General. Robert would become one of President Kennedy’s closest advisors during his administration. A year after his brother’s assassination, Robert won a seat in the Senate, with aim to become the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: James Garfield

Posted November 19, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you have any Presidents in your family tree? On November 19, 1831, James Garfield was born in a log cabin in Orange Township, Ohio. Garfield had come from very humble beginnings. His father was a wrestler and died when Garfield was just 18 months old. He was raised by his mother and his uncle and aunt, who lived just next door. In 1881, Garfield was elected the 20th President of the United States. However, his… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld

Posted November 18, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Have Finnish ancestors? On this day in 1832, arctic explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld was born in Helsinki, Finland. A member of the prominent Finnish-Swedish Nordenskiölds family, Adolf was one of the most internationally famous Finnish scientists. In 1878, he led the Vega Expedition, which would make history as the first Arctic expedition to navigate through the Northeast Passage. It was also the first voyage to circumnavigate Eurasia. Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld is connected to over 80… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for November 17, 2014

Posted November 17, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Ready for this week’s roundup of articles? Check them out below! This may be the oldest surviving photo of a human / CNN The Genealogy Sphere This may be the oldest surviving photo of a human (CNN) – A photo of a Paris street taken in 1838 by Louis Daguerre may be the oldest surviving photo of a live person At L.A. County Cemetery, Unclaimed Dead Await a Final Resting Place (The L.A. Times) –… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Louis XVIII

Posted November 17, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Louis_XVIII,_the_Desired

Do you have French ancestry? On this day in 1755, Louis XVIII was born at the Palace of Versailles. Known as “the Desired,” Louis XVIII was the fourth son born to the dauphin Louis, the son of King Louis XV. For 23 years, he lived in exile, during the French Revolution and the First French Empire, and again during the Hundred Days of Napoleon I’s return from Elba. Louis XVIII remained king for slightly less… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Charles, Prince of Wales

Posted November 14, 2014 by Amanda | One Comment
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Happy birthday, Prince Charles! Today he turns 66. Th eldest child Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince was born at Buckingham Palace on November 14, 1948. He is the longest living heir apparent in history and the oldest person to be next in line for the throne since 1714. On July 22, 2013, Charles became a grandfather for the first time with the birth of Prince George. The little tyke will soon… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Edward III of England

Posted November 13, 2014 by Amanda | One Comment
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On November 13, 1312, Edward III of England was born at Windsor Castle. He was crowned the King of England at the age of 14 after his father, Edward II, was deposed by his mother and her consort Roger Mortimer. Remembered for restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. In 1337, Edward claimed himself to be the rightful heir… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

60 Years Ago, Ellis Island Closed Its Doors

Posted November 12, 2014 by Amanda | One Comment
Ellis_Island

Do you have any ancestors who came through Ellis Island? On November 12, 1954, Ellis Island closed its doors after welcoming 12 million immigrants to America. Located in Upper New York Bay, Ellis Island served as the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States from 1892 – 1954. On January 1, 1892, a 17-year-old Irish girl named Annie Moore became the first immigrant to set foot through the famous immigration center. She was traveling… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Grace Kelly

Posted November 12, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember watching Grace Kelly on screen? Today we honor the legendary icon on what would have been her 85th birthday. Grace Kelly was born on November 12, 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a very affluent family. Her father, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, was once appointed by President Franklin Roosevelt as the National Director of Physical Fitness. Her mother taught physical education at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was the first female… Read the full story

Community »

Veterans Day: 5 Famous Faces Who Served in the Military

Posted November 11, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today the U.S. celebrates Veterans Day! Do you have any military veterans in your family? Check out some famous faces you may not have known served in the military: 1. Bea Arthur Bea Arthur Did you know actress Bea Arthur served in the United States Marine Corp during World War II? Before she became a Golden Girl, Arthur served as a truck driver for 30 months as one of the first members of the Women’s Reserve. 2…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: George S. Patton

Posted November 11, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
GeorgeSPatton

It’s Veterans Day in the U.S. Today we honor all the men and women who have served in the armed forces. Veterans Day coincides with Remembrance Day, which marks the anniversary of the end of World War I. In honor of the holiday, we highlight General George Patton, who was also born on this day in 1885 in San Gabriel, California. Considered one of the most successful generals in history, Patton was instrumental in the liberation of Germany from… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for November 10, 2014

Posted November 10, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Check out this week’s roundup of articles from around the web! A Melancholy List of Edgar Allan Poe’s Debts, From his Bankruptcy Petition of 1842 / Slate The Genealogy Sphere 14 Vintage Baby Girl Names that are Waiting to be Rediscovered (The Huffington Post) – Do you have any of these names in your family tree? Finding Children Between the Census Years (LisaLisson.com) – Great tips on how to find children not recorded in the census… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Richard Burton

Posted November 10, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember watching the sizzling chemistry between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor on screen? On this day in 1925, actor Richard Burton was born in Pontrhydyfen, Wales. Born Richard Walter Jenkins, Burton grew up in a working class family. His father was a coal miner, who sometimes went on gambling and drinking sprees for weeks. After his mother died when he was two years old, his older sister and her husband took him into their… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

Genealogy: Unusual Deaths

Posted November 7, 2014 by Amanda | 2 Comments
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Any genealogy researcher will tell you that death certificates and obituaries hold a great deal of valuable information for your family tree. These often contain the name of the deceased, place of residence, place of death, the names of family members and cause of death. It’s always fascinating when you stumble upon an unusual cause of death. Here’s a clipping from The Ocala Evening Star dated April 3, 1908. A woman, Mrs. Anna Ferrer of New York, laughed herself to death while attending… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jefferson Davis

Posted November 6, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you have ancestors who fought in the American Civil War? On this day in 1861, Jefferson Davis was elected president of the Confederacy. Davis was born on June 3, 1808 in Christian County, Kentucky. He married twice, losing his first wife Sara Knox Taylor to malaria only three months into their marriage. Sara was the daughter of his commanding officer, Zachary Taylor, who would later become the 12th President of the United States. In 1845,… Read the full story

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Global Family Reunion: Hangout with AJ Jacobs – VIDEO

Posted November 5, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Did you miss our Google+ Hangout on Air with best-selling author A.J. Jacobs? Don’t worry, you can catch what you missed in the video below! A lot has happened since AJ first announced the Global Family Reunion. In this hangout, AJ gave us an update on his latest celebrity-cousin discoveries, dished on upcoming television appearances and explained ways for you to get involved. Here are some ways you can help: Connect for the Cure – Help… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Guy Fawkes

Posted November 5, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today is Guy Fawkes Day in the UK! “Remember, remember! The fifth of November, The Gunpowder treason and plot; I know of no reason, why the Gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!” On this day in 1605, the infamous Guy Fawkes was thwarted in his attempt to assassinate the Protestant King James I of England. Fawkes was caught in the cellars of the House of Lords with 36 barrels of gunpowder with the intention of blowing… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Art Carney

Posted November 4, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Art_Carney

Did you watch The Honeymooners? Today we remember actor Art Carney, who was born on November 4, 1918 in Mount Vernon, New York. During World War II, Carney was drafted as an infantryman. He was wounded in the leg by shrapnel during the Battle of Normandy. As a result of his injury, Carney walked with a limp for the rest of his life. His right leg was 3/4-inch shorter than his left. After starting in radio,… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for November 3, 2014

Posted November 3, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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We hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween! Now to kickstart the month of November, check out our roundup of articles from around the web! Image: 100-Year-Old Notebook Found Encased in Antarctic Ice / Tech Times The Genealogy Sphere 13 Tips for Landing a Wife (in the 19th Century) (mental_floss) – Here are some 19th century tips for landing that special someone Can You Marry Your Cousin? (Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter) – Dick Eastman discusses the question… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Sissy Spacek

Posted November 3, 2014 by Amanda | One Comment
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Thirty-eight years ago today, the horror film classic Carrie opened in theaters. The film, starring new comer Sissy Spacek, was based on Stephen King’s best-selling first novel about an outcast teen who uses her telekinetic powers to seek revenge against her tormentors. Born on Christmas day in 1949, Spacek originally pursued a career in music before deciding to become an actor. She received her first Oscar nomination for her breakout performance as Carrie White. In 1980, she… Read the full story